“The wisest among my race understand that the agitation of questions of social equality is the extremest folly, and that progress in the enjoyment of all the privileges that will come to us must be the result of severe and constant struggle rather than of artificial forcing.”
~Booker T. Washington, “Up From Slavery”
Socrates (470-399 B.C.) was a famous Greek philosopher from Athens, who taught Plato, and Plato taught Aristotle, and Aristotle taught Alexander the Great. Socrates used a simple but ingeniously profound method of teaching by asking philosophical and revelatory questions. The Greeks called this form “dialectic” – starting from a thesis or question, then discussing ideas by moving back and forth between points of view to determine how well ideas stand up to critical review, with the ultimate principle of the dialogue being Veritas – Truth.
- Dr. Martin Luther King
- Booker T. Washington
- W.E.B DuBois
- Malcolm X
- President Donald Trump
- Katrina Pierson (Trump Campaign Advisor)
- Democrat Presidential Nominee Joe Biden
- Former President Obama
- Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Opal Tometi
Socrates: We are gathered here today to discuss which political party in America has accomplished the most for the Black race and which party has proven most worthy to obtain the majority of Black votes as the 2020 election approaches. While the presence of racism, issues of White police officers shooting Blacks, and clashing race-relations between Blacks and Whites has remained somewhat of an issue in the United States in the modern century, the coalition to prevent racism against Blacks has morphed into something almost unrecognizable from the original peaceful protests to establish equality among Black and White Americans. Specifically, today’s modern social justice warriors battling against what they perceive to be wanton police brutality against Blacks, represent a stark contrast to the original civil rights icons who marched the streets in the early to mid-20th Century; brave Black men and women who gave their ‘life, liberty and sacred honor’ to condemn and destroy racist inequality and segregation unjustly imposed upon Blacks.
The original civil rights peaceful marches in the 1950’s and 60’s are commendable examples of how to successfully fight against and defeat the sinister forces of hate and racial cruelty, unlike the self-proposed anti-police provocateurs chanting for peace and an end to violence against the Black race, shortly before reaping unspeakable havoc to innocent businesses (many of which are Black owned), tearing down historic statues—including many portraying religious martyrs and abolitionists who freed slaves like Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman, and vandalizing government buildings including court houses and police stations. This seems to me to be an irrational rebuke of the non-violent customs Blacks have long-since maintained in pursuing change by peaceful means. Therefore, this Symposium will examine the words and actions of notable activists and politicians of the Democrat and Republican Parties, and ascertain whether protesting for equality through non-violent means proved more successful than the current anarchical violent riots affecting major cities like Portland, Seattle, New York, and Chicago.
Booker T. Washington: I for one find my philosophy for Black advancement to be contrary to the societal conflict harming modern day cities in America. Blacks have achieved equality among Whites and have developed in significant ways with profound achievements comparable to the greatest pioneers of any race. Truly, our people have come a long way since my time 105 years ago. But I do not see a unified effort to further advance the Black race when looking at violent rioting spurred by groups like Black Lives Matter, which seems to have advocated for a nationwide uprising against perceived brutality from a handful of police officers toward unarmed Blacks guilty of criminal offenses.
This is counter-productive, especially when such rioting has led to the destruction of many Black owned small businesses, during a time when such businesses were already struggling to reopen from lock-downs in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. My entire mission in life has been to encourage Blacks to be entrepreneurial, innovators, and hard workers who are independent of welfare hand-outs or government assistance. To launch protests which quickly devolve into riots where innocent Blacks are harmed in the process is self-defeating of any proposed outcome of marching for an end to racial targeting or police brutality.
Opal Tometi: Mr. Washington, we at Black Lives Matter are not in the business of attacking other Blacks. “We are guided by the fact that all Black lives matter, regardless of actual or perceived sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, economic status, ability, disability, religious beliefs or disbeliefs, immigration status, or location.” We engage in peaceful demonstrations that empathize with members of our race and make sure our protests are family friendly and open to the general public. But we at the same time reject many traditional American customs and western frameworks regarding family structure. To that end, “we disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.” And we do not need to qualify our position that Black Lives Matter, and the love and desire for the safety of Blacks against acts of police cruelty and White hatred is a prerequisite of peace for all imperiled peoples.
Booker T. Washington: Ms. Tometi, you need to take a note from my celebrated memoir, Up From Slavery (1901), in where I lay out my provenly successful guidance for the productive advancement of the Black race, void of forceful rioting, socialist doctrine, destabilizing traditional norms and the racial extremes that your organization seem to propose,
“The wisest among my race understand that the agitation of questions of social equality is the extremest folly, and that progress in the enjoyment of all the privileges that will come to us must be the result of severe and constant struggle rather than of artificial forcing. No race that has anything to contribute to the markets of the world is long in any degree ostracized. It is important and right that all privileges of the law be ours, but it is vastly more important that we be prepared for the exercise of these privileges. The opportunity to earn a dollar in a factory just now is worth infinitely more than the opportunity to spend a dollar in an opera-house.”
Socrates: A profoundly excellent statement Booker, one that attacks the heart of the Black Lives Matter movement. Your mention of “social equality” being the “extremist folly” plays perfectly into the extremism of BLM’s blind pursuit for Socialism in America, which has lit the fuse for insurrection in your country’s most politically socialist cities. If I am not mistaken, Black Lives Matter seems to be in league with Marxist figures who had adopted crippling socialist agendas that have driven their nation to the brink of poverty, joblessness and decadence. In a June 2020 interview Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors said in a newly surfaced video from 2015 that she and her fellow organizers are "trained Marxists ...” according to the New York Post. https://nypost.com/2020/06/25/blm-co-founder-describes-herself-as-trained-marxist/ Such figures that have earned praise from BLM include Fidel Castro, Karl Marx, and Nicholas Maduro, who was even spotted in a photo with Opal Tometi. What say you about this, Malcolm?
Malcolm X: While I sympathize with the independent political force of Black power these youth have exerted in some of their Black Lives Matter protests, their methods seem to be sloppy and have devolved into a rageful left-wing political tantrum against police in this country. I have spent much of my life as the face of the Black empowerment movement, advocating for Black supremacy in a White-dominated world and have sought to separate Blacks from Whites in society. I am against non-violent methods of protesting that members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference have staunchly advocated for during my day, believing that the most efficient mode of protest is through violent, assertive, and forceful means. Where I see this as the greatest tool to advocate for change in a hostile environment, I do not perceive BLM to be in the best position to advocate for aimless attacks on innocent businesses.
BLM’s mission and message should be much more concentrated and outspoken against the specified/individual acts of police violence targeting Black people, and not so blinded by rage so as to expose your naked Socialist political philosophy which many associate with the tearing down of this entire nation. As I’ve said before, “Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.” My point is to never seek out random violence against soulless statues or attack store owners or seek to loot innocent White folks’ homes who did you no wrong in the first place; this is pointless. Instead, focus your efforts on combating those with authority in your community who seek to do you harm because of the way you look.
Dr. Martin Luther King: Malcolm, where I agree with you on certain points, I must disagree with you on others. As you know, my philosophy is strictly grounded in non-violent displays of kindness and brotherly unity. As a Christian, I know that it is never permissible to pursue change through violent methods like unprovoked rioting, looting, beatings and other various forms of civil unrest. This generation of Black Americans must learn to love and forgive those few in law enforcement who have exercised excessive force to kill, sometimes accidentally, sometimes intentionally, but nonetheless far fewer in number than the police of my time or than what many hostile Blacks have done to other members of our race (aka “Black on Black crime”).
“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”
What I see through the Black Lives Matter and Antifa protests are vengeance seekers, thieves, vandals, and arsonists unleashing unspeakable and irreputable harm to those who contradict their social justice mantras. These young folks must understand that “man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.” And in response to the pursuit of violent protesting that Malcolm has proposed,
“returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.”
Socrates: Very well-spoken Dr. King, such excellent points of reasoning towards pursuing peace. It would seem that while the slogan “Black Lives Matter” largely grew from outrage against perceived acts of police brutality toward Blacks, much of what they advocate for isn’t beneficial toward Black Americans or constructive in mending racial indifferences.
W.E.B DuBois: I am a firm advocate of Blacks asserting their right to be equal with Whites and all other races and by this extent be allowed to obtain the highest quality services society has to offer, such as a college education. This is why I took issue with Booker over what I perceived to be his accommodationist view of Blacks in his proposed Atlanta Compromise speech of 1895. This proposal agreed to tolerate a degree of racial segregation and limited rights in exchange for free basic education to equip Blacks with vocational or industrial training in areas like teaching and nursing. I and my celebrated colleagues, the Talented Tenth, took great issue with this unwritten compromise on multiple fronts, including that it disallows Blacks to pursue higher forms of liberal arts education offered at the college level and primarily promised that Blacks would agree not to protest against racial injustice or make demands for equality among the races in America.
Our people’s modern civil rights movement would not have been possible if not for the right to protest and what groups today like the BLM movement and various social justice initiatives in sports showing a solidarity among Black athletes seems to me to be a positive modernization of the original civil rights movement of the 1950’s. It represents an extension of the earliest forms of civil rights activism beginning around 1915, where the voices of oppressed Black men and women are heard and prominently displayed in creative messages, clothing and symbolism, highlighted by an educated (or as modern generations refer to as “woke”) class of activists and social justice warriors.
Booker T. Washington: If I had lived beyond the year of my passing to see the monumental success of the civil rights movement, I would have endeavored to inspire certain forms of peaceful protest. But I hold firm to my timeless understanding that Blacks earn greater success in life not by rioting for change, but by surpassing the odds placed against them through a solid hard-work ethic. DuBois, your leftward leanings toward socialism clearly have caused you to adopt this modern-day Marxist and anarchical movement, which is wrongfully equated with Dr. King’s era of peaceful marches. You also overlook the fact that you among many others initially supported my Atlanta Compromise, which also was one of the earliest proposals to mandate that Blacks receive due process and by extent fair treatment under the law, so as to safeguard our race from unjust incarceration. You also wrongfully equated my peaceful compromise to causing the Atlanta race riot of 1906, and to that I say shame on you.
Socrates: Right then, now let us conclude with words from today’s political leaders in America, representing both major political parties currently running for the Presidency, on the importance and worth of the Black vote.
Joe Biden: You know, without a doubt I’m the best candidate to support African Americans. I was Vice-President to the first African American President Barack Obama. “I mean, you got the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.” And I understand Blacks like no one else; where I come from affirms this. “My state [Delaware] was a slave state. My state is a border state. My state is the eighth largest black population in the country. My state is anything from a northeast liberal state.” With my former colleague Barack and running-mate Kamala, together we believe the Black community can thrive best under Democrat Party policies and that the Black vote is the spine of our Party’s progress. Blacks are so historically intertwined in the success of our Party that…that, uh, “well I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black! Take a look at my record, man!”
Katrina Pierson: Joe Biden, that’s just wrong. “Just hearing him say, 'you ain't black if you don't vote for me,' I mean, as a Black woman, I take issue with anyone who tells me I'm not Black regardless of the reason behind it. It was particularly dehumanizing.” You have no right to falsify or mischaracterize an entire race of people simply because you take political offense to the way some of us think. I am disgusted by Joe Biden and the entire Democrat Party’s intolerance of Black conservatives, independents or any minority seeking to think for themselves and abandon the Groupthink of the Democrat Party Plantation. Perhaps its time for more Blacks to Steal Away from this divisive left-wing indoctrination.
Barack Obama: Whoa, uh, lets back up a minute. "I didn't take Sen. Biden's comments personally, but obviously they were historically inaccurate. African-American presidential candidates like Jesse Jackson, Shirley Chisholm, Carol Moseley Braun and Al Sharpton gave a voice to many important issues through their campaigns, and no one would call them inarticulate." That said, Joe Biden is a very gracious man without a racist bone in his body. I have no problem with him. I support him 100% for the upcoming election and believe he is the right man for the right time as America suffers through the worst period in history.
President Trump: Let me close out this discussion by emphasizing how profoundly terrible of a job Joe Biden and Barack Obama have done to disenfranchise the American people, especially Blacks, during their failed 8 years in office. Electing Barack Obama and Joe Biden was among the worst electoral mistakes this country has made in its entire 244-year history. Under these two, unemployment sky-rocketed and seemed to float around 11% for much of his first term in office, especially in early 2012 when nearly 24 million Americans were unemployed. This during a time when you weren’t even facing a global pandemic like what I’m facing with coronavirus, and when you actually had to deal with swine flu, the fake media provided you with the most satisfactory coverage regardless of how much your administration blundered in failing to contain its spread; total opposite of what I’m facing with a hostile press. Black Americans suffered horribly, with unemployment and jobless rates averaging around 13% during the last year of your first term in office, not to mention a massive dependency on welfare and food stamps. Obama also lost more than 4 million jobs during the first year of his presidency.
Under my leadership and pre-coronavirus lockdowns, African American unemployment has reached its lowest numbers in history, in addition to record unemployment among Hispanics, Asians and women in the workforce. During my first 3 years “We have seen the best economy we’ve ever had, we have the best jobs numbers in 51 years, the best unemployment numbers that we’ve had in a half a century.” And our nation is now experiencing the greatest American comeback in history. The months of May and June saw the largest jobs growth in U.S. history with over 7.5 million gained in these two months alone. “People are working, they’re making money.”
The great economic comeback has already reduced unemployment around the nation in key demographic groups according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Despite its initial rise from Covid-19, the unemployment rate fell by 3.1% for Hispanic Americans and by 1.4% for Black Americans, with female Blacks over the age of 20 enjoying the largest job gain in history. Electing me will further this economic revival and allow our nation to fully heal from the coronavirus pandemic that has plagued us. I will also keep our nation safe and secure from violent rioters by ensuring that a law and order agenda maintains the peace in Democrat-led cities inflicted by unrestrained BLM and Antifa demonstrations. We will make America safe and wealthy again!
[Excerpt from Trump’s closing of the Republican National Convention Speech – 27 Aug. 2020] “Americans built their beautiful homesteads on the Open Range. Soon they had churches and communities, then towns, and with time, great centers of industry and commerce. That is who they were. Americans build the future, we don't tear down the past!”
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